This time of year can be tough for the newspaper industry. The pre-X-mas rush of advertising helps the bottom line and makes for thick papers in December, but come January, the industry suffers for the excess it enjoyed leading up to the mother of all consumer holidays. It's the newspaper hangover, if you will. A smaller paper like ours feels the effects more dramatically as the number of pages we print each week is directly related to the number of advertisements we include. And when the paper is smaller, some things must be cut back on. You may have noticed we haven't published Mail in a few weeks, or that the 8 Days Out Calendar is a little shorter, or that True Crime may not have been in. Rest assured, these things will return, but it's also a time for us to look at what may have worked for our readers during the last year and make some changes to the paper. (We appreciate your comments as well. E-mail them to me at if you have any thoughts.)

While I cannot divulge what we have planned--heck the changes might be so subtle you will not realize we've "tweaked" the issue--keep looking and try to check out parts of the paper you normally don't read. You might find something new that piques your interest.

While the physical size of the paper may be smaller during these not-so-cold winter months, online at we're continuing to upgrade and update where space is unlimited. Our new Web dude, Phil Merrell--we've explored giving him the title Webster, Web-stress, Web Maestro, Webby NetWit--is busy at work making adjustments to the site. In future weeks you will see from his experienced hands new online exclusive elements beginning to appear. We're really excited about that.

Our marketing dude, Tyler Bush, has been busy updating our MySpace account. Yes, BW has a myspace account and we just surpassed 100 members. Most of the staff have gone on and established one, too (including myself), and we're having a lot of fun seeing who can generate the most "friends" and putting up the most personal of information about ourselves. Why? Because we're masochists and want you to judge us for the freaks we really are. Take a look-see and pick me to be your friend. There's some funny pictures of me in my dreads from pre-Burning Man on there if that helps entice you.


In last week's Let's Play Chess, the answer to the problem should have read: 2. Rc8+, Re8.

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